as a step toward reclaiming the GOP.
Over at Hillbuzz.org, the “Cocktail Party GOP Establishment” is considered “the BizarroWorld nemesis of the Tea Party and stands for everything that Tea Partiers are against.” It creates an (accurate) image of obnoxious sparkling elites toasting each other’s awesomeness, while the paradoxically polite rabble gather outside in tacky red, white and blue T-shirts yelling, “But what about the economy?!”
We Tea Partiers are good at the tacky-T-shirt protest, but thus far, not fantastic at successfully integrating into the RINO-led congressional GOP – which is why we need to learn to play their game while (somehow) retaining our souls.
Never having been a politician, I can’t advise elected Tea Partiers on how to gain control of committees, but I CAN advise all of us about how to throw the kind of shindig that will raise our profiles and our neighbors’ “awareness” (Gosh, I’m getting good at buzzword integration!).
“Why bother with such superficiality?” you may ask.
It’s not superficial, that’s why. There are two purposes to throwing conservative cocktail parties:
1) To make conservatism cool again!* Are we losing the culture war? Pssh, why should we care what everyone else is doing? We’re too cool to get flustered about that. When the others see how much fun we’re having without them, they’ll want to come to us (which is less tiring than trying to educate them on Facebook. Don’t tell me you haven’t tried that only to wind up losing faith in humanity). And yes, they will come. If you throw an awesome party and invite people from across the political spectrum but DO NOT invite far our leftists, they will get miffed and crash (at least that’s what happened to me. Maybe it won’t happen to you, but they’ll see the pics on FB and be like, WTF?).
2) To educate others in a chill and fun environment about the logic of conservatism. And no, we’re not inviting people over to lecture them – we’re just getting a bunch of people who know what’s going on and who like to talk politics together, most of whom will be conservative, some of whom will be libertarian, and some of whom will be some kind of moderate-liberal types who are probably Democrats because their parents raised them on MSM news. Anyone who can debate (or watch other people debate) whether or not we need the Fed without getting pissy can come.
Very Important Point: Being a good host ranks above changing others’ minds. If all you accomplish is to convince your friend’s brother’s girlfriend that conservatives aren’t all out to destroy fun and kill women, then you’ve done your job: you’ve made a chink in a previously closed mind. Wash, rinse, repeat next month.
*I bet you’ve guessed by now that the Conservative Cocktail Party is not some stuffy self-congratulatory wannabe-establishment affair. You’re right, it’s not: it’s pure modern-retro awesomeness with ties and heels. How awesome will it be? That’s up to you, the organizer. But there are a few essentials:
1) Location. It can’t be at your mom’s house in a quiet oak-tree shaded neighborhood, unless you only want the usual crowd to show up. No. If you’re in college, throw it at a house near the main drag. If not, rent out part of a popular bar. Some bars will cordon off an area that’s visible from the rest of the bar – this is the kind of venue you want. Conservatives are OUT and PROUD tonight!
2) Limited Exclusivity.
This isn’t only for conservatives, it’s for anyone who wants to come to a conservative cocktail party (namely, our friends and friends of friends and their friends who think, “Meh, it’s free and an excuse to dress up, perhaps ironically, and drink and chat and eat. Why not?”). If you’re in college, organize it with the College Republicans or your conservative newspaper (if you don’t have one, START ONE
), and extend open invitations to members of other clubs, if you know they have members who can play nicely with others (poli sci orgs, international relations, business majors, etc). Now, to the exclusivity part: The Conservative Cocktail Party is not open to raving lunatic libs. How you want to weed them out is up to you – or, if you want to let a few in and kill them with kindness, that’s your prerogative as well. You can friggin’ advertise it in the newspaper if you want (but you MUST have bouncers if you do this. I speak from experience. Some people just don’t know how to behave themselves). But, under no circumstances will you allow guests admittance if they ignore essential rule #3:
3) The Dress Code.
Jacket and tie, gosh darn it
. For women, well, we can figure it out from “jacket and tie” and “conservative cocktail party.” If you want to take it a step further, give it a theme, such as “The Reagan Era” and go 80s. That’ll be easy for party-goers because everything old is new again. You can even take the kitsch up a notch and pass out fake pearls to the ladies and geeky bow-ties or ascots to the men. Whatever, as long as it’s reasonably classy and fun.
4) Music. Part of the Conservative Cocktail Party’s appeal is nostalgia (remember when gas was under $1 a gallon)? If your venue allows you control over the tunes, don’t play anything from the current decade. Whatever you choose must be fun and danceable (I recommend lots of Michael Jackson, especially if you’re doing an 80s theme, or even a “Remember when we could afford shit” theme. Yeah, remember that? Way back when Michael was still with us. He was weird. But times were good).
5) Do it Again. And again. Make it a quarterly event. If it gets pricey, but it’s popular, ask for a small cover fee. Throwing one fabulous party isn’t enough to cause a sea change. You want people to know about the last party and wish they’d gone – and then find out there’s another! Now, they may want to come to educate you (lol), so be ready to deflect stupidity with grace and charm.
“Again, why? Obama won, we lost, we’re all going over a cliff.” See, THAT’s why you need to throw a series of kickass parties! Hit the doldrums where it hurts and party ’til they come for your guns!
“Conservative Werewolf, that sounds like fun for party-type people, but I don’t drink.”
That’s cool, you don’t have to – just don’t spill your ginger ale while dancing like it’s champagne.
“I don’t have any conservative friends. I am forever alone.”
Join your local Young Republicans – I can almost guarantee you’ll find conservatives there.
“I don’t want to take over the GOP – I want to start a third party!”
Good luck with that. While waiting for that to happen, throw on a smoking jacket and start an actual party.
“I seriously can’t afford anything right now.”
Convince your friends who can afford things that this is an awesome idea. And remember, the party doesn’t have to be expensive. Ask around – someone has to know someone who owns a bar and is pissed at the direction our country is going. Also, buy your smoking jacket/blazer at the Salvation Army or a thrift store. And then tell everyone where you got it! Frugality is in!
There, now you have no reason not to publicly highlight the awesomeness of conservatives and our guiding philosophy. Go forth and have fun!
The Conservative Cocktail Party
is step two in the Conservative Werewolf’s plan to re-normalize conservatism (see: step 1
). Join in and live up to the name Tea Partier! Or, you know, don’t, and be a loser. ;P